Majority Leader Supports Animal Protection Law
Posted on October 25, 2010 by WayCoolDogs
New York’s Suffolk County has unanimously approved the first animal abuse registry of the United States, requiring any adult who has been convicted of animal abuse charges to be listed on the registry for five years. The situation of Lashawn M. Harper who set his brother’s 1-year-old dog on fire in an argument is just one example why this law needed to go into effect. By next month, the county will be voting on prohibiting the sales or adoptions of pets to anyone listed on the registry. (Suffolk News Herald, 2010)
In February of 2010, the Animal Legal Defense Fund launched a preliminary program that would help each state create public registries for animal abusers. The sole purpose would be to protect pets, animals, and communities from repeating offenders of felony animal abuse.
Animals need to be protected from suffering regardless who the abuser is — their owner, a neglectful shelter or the system. California announced the first bill for a statewide registry on February 22, 2010. The convictions of animal abusers will rely on solid evidence like malnourishment or injuries.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund has been working with Suffolk County Majority Leader Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor), one of the most prolific lawmakers in Suffolk County history. “A society is judged by the way it treats those who are most vulnerable,” Cooper said. “And the creation of this registry sends a strong message that all of God’s creatures deserve protection from torture and abuse.”
Presently, the laws to protect animals from abuse are insignificant punishments. For example, a Brooklyn, N.Y. man who threw his dog Oreo from the roof of a six-story building would never have received a jail sentence if it were not for the fact he failed to show up for court. (LA Times, 2009) It is being proven that animal abuse is being connected to sociopathic behavior in humans, such as domestic violence.
It is hoped that the animal abuse registries will be used as legal tools to not only prevent animal abuse but also criminal activity – dog fights, drugs, illegal sexual activity, and weapons. However, hopeful legislature will separate animal criminal neglect with someone who did not understand what the pets needed should not be lumped together with animal abusers who purposely maim and torture animals for the fun of it. Education and rehabilitation should be attempted in the first case, instead of condemning them for life.
Demand Public Registries of Animal Abusers
“Send a letter to your state legislators to join the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s campaign to demand that your state require animal abusers register in their communities. By helping to support public animal abuser registries, you can help protect not only cats, dogs, horses and other animals, but also our communities.”
The national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund has drafted a comprehensive model law that would establish an animal abuser registry in our state. To help reduce animal abuse and other forms of violence in our communities, I believe it is imperative that we pass this law.
As your constituent, I urge you to review the law at www.aldf.org/registrylaw (where you will find ALDF contact information, if you have questions or would like assistance) and commit your support for an animal abuser registry law in our state.
Please take the lead in protecting our citizenry–and our four-legged loved ones–from avoidable repeat offenses by convicted abusers.
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